Wednesday, October 30, 2013

USS Zumwalt, the Destroyer as Big as WW2 Heavy Cruisers, Launched

General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) successfully launched the Navy’s first Zumwalt-class destroyer Oct. 28 at their Bath, Maine shipyard. The future USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) will be the lead ship of the Navy’s newest destroyer class, designed for littoral operations and land attack. At 610 feet (186 meter) long, and 15,610 (long) tons displacement, the Zumwalt looks unlike any ship the navy has sailed, with an angular superstructure, a low-slung “tumblehome” hull to “pierce” waves for a smoother ride, Other new provisions include electric propulsion and a futuristic bridge, that looks more like it belongs on Star Trek’s USS Enterprise than a real Navy ship.

The $4 billion warship, built by Bath Iron Works in Maine, was launched on the Kennebec River Monday, five years after construction began. The Zumwalt, hull number DDG-1000, was meant to be the first of a class to replace the DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. Rising construction costs caused caused the Pentagon to tack, limiting the program to just three Zumwalts. They are 100 feet longer than their predecessor, but require half the crew.

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